The Kentucky Board of Education voted Tuesday to move five candidates forward in the search for the next state education commissioner.
The candidates, who have not been named, are in-state and out-of-state educators. However, the board did not preclude adding finalists when it meets Friday in Lexington, before the start of second-round interviews.
On Tuesday, the board voted in open session to go into closed session to interview an additional candidate by phone. Members also reviewed additional information on the candidates whom they interviewed earlier. The board returned to open session to vote to advance the selected five candidates.
The board directed its search firm, Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc., to contact the candidates, and if there are no objections, the department will release the candidates' names this week.
The board has scheduled second-round interviews for Friday and Saturday at Embassy Suites in Lexington.
Commissioner Terry Holliday is retiring at the end of August.
"This decision involves the education of all of Kentucky's public schoolchildren," board chairman Roger Marcum said. "This is the most important decision that this board will make, and we want to be sure we get it right. We want someone who will build on the work that's already been done with the Kentucky Education Reform Act and Senate Bill 1, and who will move public education forward both within the state and on the national front."
The board has selected associate commissioner and general counsel Kevin C. Brown to serve as interim commissioner, starting Sept. 1, until a new commissioner can begin.